Abstract Title:

Docosahexaenoic acid protects motor function and increases dopamine synthesis in a rat model of Parkinson's disease via mechanisms associated with increased protein kinase activity in the striatum.

Abstract Source:

Neuropharmacology. 2020 Jan 27:107976. Epub 2020 Jan 27. PMID: 32001239

Abstract Author(s):

Neha Milind Chitre, Bo Jarrett Wood, Azizi Ray, Nader H Moniri, Kevin Sean Murnane

Article Affiliation:

Neha Milind Chitre


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that leads to motor deficits and selective destruction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. PD is typically treated by dopamine replacement agents; however, dopamine replacement loses effectiveness in the later stages of the disease. Here, we describe the neuroprotective effects of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the medial forebrain bundle 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) model of advanced-stage PD in rats. We show that daily administration of DHA protects against core symptoms of PD, including deficits in postural stability, gait integrity, and dopamine neurochemistry in motor areas of the striatum. Our results also demonstrate that DHA increases striatal dopamine synthesis via phosphorylation of the rate-limiting catecholamine synthesizing enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase, in a manner dependent on the second messenger-linked protein kinases PKA and PKC. We also show that DHA specifically reverses dopamine loss in the nigrostriatal pathway, with no effect in the mesolimbic or mesocortical pathways. This suggests that DHA is unlikely to produce pharmacotherapeutic or adverse effects that depend on dopamine pathways other than the nigrostriatal pathway. To our knowledge, previous reports have not examined the effects of DHA in such an advanced-stage model, documented that the dopamine synthesizing effects of DHA in vivo are mediated through the activation of protein kinases and regulation of TH activity, or demonstrated specificity to the nigrostriatal pathway. These novel findings corroborate the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids seen in PD patients and suggest that DHA provides a novel means of protecting patients for dopamine neurodegeneration.

Study Type : Animal Study

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